The sound of 10 children with hammers pounding away at bird houses and bird feeders, napkin holders and toolboxes, planter boxes and picture frames sounded through one side of the Carson Mall during Saturday’s Home and Garden Show.
“Last year, we had 2,000 come and we expect the same,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ronni Hannaman said. “The difference this year is, there’s a lot of young families.”
Lu Olsen saw those young families, or at least their youngest members, all day Saturday. The Children’s Museum executive director had a whole room in the mall to set up; activities there included decorating flower pots and planting seeds in them, of sunflowers and a small daisy-like flower.
“The kids have just been so excited,” Olsen said. “They ask, ‘Is this for me?’ ‘Yes, you can have it.’ They weren’t expecting things for them when they came here.”
The children also chose, and then painted, pet rocks. One child told Olsen she was going to sleep with the rock. Another said she planned to place it at the base of a rosebush she was going to plant for her mother.
“One kid said, ‘How long will it take to grow?’ They’re excited. They can’t wait to get home and see their plants grow,” Olsen said.
The children also painted and worked on activity sheets. Farther down the mall, the hammering continued, then gave way painting as the youngest generation turned the wooden contraptions they had assembled into painted works of art.
While the children were playing with paint, hammers and wood, the adults learned how to plant flowers in pots, rise a flower tower and save energy at Home Depot displays.
“It’s just for fun,” department supervisor Alison Paine said. “They can take the plants with them.”
People with The Home Depot expected to give away all 120 plants and flowers they had brought.
Dick French, 75, stopped by for a 40-minute visit.
“They ought to do it more often,” he said. “I was expecting more on the garden side.”
He opened a small orange tote bag, showing off the spoils of his trip.
“I collected pens and I got a Wells Fargo carriage,” he said.
A few things caught French’s eye, including the chicks at the C-A-L Ranch booth.
“A long time ago, I had chickens,” he said.
The local beauty queens roving around the mall also caught his eye, he said with a laugh.
“Next time, more garden stuff,” he said.
Faron Sam said he remembered the Carson Mall when its anchor was a discount store called Disco with a strobe light, in the 1970s.
“We stopped by to get something to eat, and saw everyone here,” he said. “It’s a nice deal. I checked out a few booths, because I’m considering retirement. Ideas for the house, retirement planning,” which meant, partly, home-improvement projects.